Coil
Musick to Play in the Dark Vol. 2

September 2000

Cover Image

BUY@THRESHOLD HOUSE

UK LPx2 Chalice GRAAL LP 004

side a

  1. Something - [MP3]
  2. Tiny Golden Books - [MP3]

side b

  1. Ether - [MP3]
  2. Paranoid Inlay - [MP3]

side c

  1. An Emergency - [MP3]
  2. Where Are You? - [MP3]
  3. Batwings (A Limnal Hymn) - [MP3]

1300 copies on white vinyl, numbered.
100 copies with one record on blue vinyl and one on green.
60 signed and numbered copies on amethyst coloured vinyl packaged in a white gatefold sleeve with a moon & trees picture attached to the front, a handprint in off-white paint on the back, another picture attached on the inside of the gatefold sleeve, a note saying that it is "suitable for framing (but beware of sunlight!)", and two signed prints (print 1, print 2). The records themselves have plain white labels, with gold leaf attached to the label on side four.
A special "Trauma" edition limited to 26 copies (lettered A to Z) on white vinyl with plain white covers smeared with John Balance's own blood during a "psychotic/demonic episode". These also contain the cover picture and prints from the amethyst edition listed above. Initially, only 11 copies were to be sold with the remainder being held by Coil in their personal archive, but the edition was expanded due to high demand.

side A: REFLECTING THE MIRROR OF THE SEA
side B: HATHOR IS THE COW THAT JUMPED OVER THE MOON
side C: LAST ONE OUT TURN OFF THE LIGHTS

UK CD Chalice GRAAL CD 005

  1. Something - [MP3]
  2. Tiny Golden Books - [MP3]
  3. Ether - [MP3]
  4. Paranoid Inlay - [MP3]
  5. An Emergency - [MP3]
  6. Where Are You? - [MP3]
  7. Batwings (A Limnal Hymn) - [MP3]

John Balance
Peter Christopherson
Thighpaulsandra
Rose McDowall - vocals on "Where Are You?"

Second CD edition features slightly different artwork.
Time Machines Live CD given away to all initial mail orders.

Batwings (A Limnal Hymn)

Many images and phrases here are adapted from Sir Thomas Browne's Musæum Clausum (1684), a list of supposed curiosities.

(The key to joy is disobedience
There is no guilt and there is no shame)

A moon-piece to fetch up the golden cup
A snow-piece to avoid the great heat of the sun
Is kept in the night and by the light of the moon

An ice-piece so as they seem forever fallen
A night-piece of the dismal supper and strange entertainment
A rare chance-piece, a handsome piece of deformity
The skin of a snake bred out of the spinal marrow of a man

With stones and illegible inscriptions found about great ruins
Pictures of three remarkable steeples, or towers
Built purposely awry, so as they seem eternally tipping and falling

A transcendent perfume made of the richest odorates
Kept in a box of translucent scale

A glass of spirits made of ethereal salt, hermetically sealed up
Kept continually in quicksilver, of so volatile a nature
That it will scarcely endure the light
And therefore only shown in winter
Or by the light of a carbuncle, or a firefly

And batwings
And batwings
And batwings sing this limnal hymn
A wideness opening and closing to keep the darkness sealed within
To keep the darkness sealed within
To keep the darkness sealed within

To keep the darkness sealed within
A moon-piece to fetch up the golden cup

The singing that follows is not in English. When this song was played at John Balance's funeral service, Peter Christopherson described it as "a language that only he [Balance] knows".

An Emergency

And your wounds were growing
And your feast on your fear
Are you bathing in moonlight?
Are you drowning in tears?
I thought I had lost you
But I now find you here
In the darkness we share

Ether

It's either ether or the other
My mind is back to front
And sometimes absent
And slip the cup
I've taken a sip from the cup that slips into ether

It's either ether or the other

I press my window to the glass
The glass turns to gas
I breathe out ether, a glass of ether
Ether is a thief
It's stolen my belief

Slip through the ether
We both slip through the ether
Slipstreams of memory slipping away
It's ether

...???...
Slip through the ether
Sip the ether
Sip the ether
Slipstreams of memories slipping away
Slipstreams of memories slipping away
Memories of ??? slipping away into ether
Into ether

I've changed my mind
It's what it's there for
I've changed my mind
It's what it's there for
For therefore
Full of ether
Full of ether
Full of ether
Full of ether
Full of ether

I'm going upstairs now
To take my mind off
I'm going upstairs now
To turn my mind off
(repeated)

Paranoid Inlay

Serenity is a problem
When you get this close to Heaven
But you really want to see
The wonders of the underworld
They caught Saint Peter's disease
As he rattled his keys

Serenity is a problem
Serenity is a problem
Such a paranoid inlay
Hand-painted, pain by numbers, just join the dots

Serenity is a problem
Serenity is a problem
Bloody British bulldozers
These vegetables are suicidal

It seems concussion suits you
It seems concussion suits you

Dear Diary, I must take risks
I must not be afraid of failure
What do I need to give up?
Crystalline ladders, shiny things, mirror-balls

On a clear day I can see forever
That the underworld is my oyster

Something

Something (repeated)

I know why the birdcage sings
It's wrapped its song round everything

Tiny Golden Books

Dark they were, with golden eyes
Brought golden books from darkened skies
Every word from every world within was written down
They read it all aloud to us with silver tongues of fire
That licked the sun and stars and moon
All space became a choir
Shining shining shining then they left without a sound
Then they left without a sound
Then they left without a sound

Where Are You?

Where are you?
Are you hiding from me?
Are you still looking for things that no-one else can see?

Where are you?
Are you in some place that we cannot reach?
Are you bathing in moonlight or drowned on the beach?

Where are you?
Are you surrounded by things we cannot penetrate?
Is the cage you love the home you also hate?

Your fear of death attracts such strange objects
Smothering you, hiding you, don't let it spoil you
Show yourself so the others may see you
So the others may feed you
They want to be near you

If you can't get enough of your hypnotic injection
Then it's time to put an end to this invalid function
Poor little ghost boy
Let me be your human toy

Where are you?
No-one's seen you for years
Have your wounds grown wings? Are you feasting on fears?
I can see your dark corona is eating into you
You're surrounded by things we cannot penetrate
Is the cage you love the home you also hate?
Life lies with the scissors inside her
The surgeon was a butcher
All of us are wounded, anaesthetised in A&E
Numbed by stuff we should not see
Each of us lies bleeding
Our rivers intermingling
Poor little ghost boy
Let me be your human toy

I'll wrap my last kiss in a bandage
I'll wrap my last kiss in a bandage
I'll wrap my last kiss in a bandage
I'll wrap my last kiss in a bandage

Coil return with more moon musick. This is volume 2 of a hopefully neverending series begun last year with the well received volume 1. Here Coil are the trio of Balance, Sleazy and Thighpaulsandra, with the addition of some vocals by frequent collaborator Rose McDowall. "Something" welcomes us back to the moonlit night with swooshes of digital air and Balance's deadpan recital of the title back and forth across the stereo field. "Tiny Golden Books" churns through bits of digital sound and digitzed vocals during a lengthy bass throb fed journey. "Ether" sets Balance's effected vocals to Thighpaulsandra's melancholy drenched piano until he turns his mind off in a slow motion spoken wind down. "Paranoid Inlay" is an unsettling mix of digital glitch bits with an almost too cute synth melody and Balance eerily declaring "serenity is a problem". "An Emergency" is a brief, creaky interlude with Rose angelically singing the question "are you bathing in moonlight?" "Where Are You?" imitates the crackling of fire with pops and clicks as background for a music box-like melody motif. Here Balance's lyrics are the most evocative: "are you still looking for things that no one else can see?", "is the cage you love the home you also hate?", "I'll wrap my last kiss in a bandage", etc. "Batwings" continues the feel of the previous track but culminates in a mysterious medley of male voices in strange tongues. All in all volume 2 is another masterpiece just as strong as the first volume. This is moon musick ... bizarre, beautiful, spiritual, tidal, suicidal. How do they keep doing it? Who knows? Who cares? What's next? The very latest album out now is "Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil". - Mark Weddle, Brainwashed